Since Ashkin’s pioneering work, optical trapping and manipulation have been of great interest to the optical community. Researchers have proposed many techniques for optically rotating trapped particles, but most relied on either mechanical instruments or phase-sensitive interference, which is susceptible to ambient perturbations. Recently, we demonstrated an approach for generating rotating intensity blades using the moiré technique. Our propeller-like beams can be generated with variable speed and direction of rotation without requiring mechanical movement or optical interference. Furthermore, they can achieve dynamic control of trapped microparticles and bacteria.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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